1. A pricking; stimulation. [Obs.]
That acid and piercing spirit which, with such activity and compunction, invadeth the brains and nostrils. --Sir T. Browne.
2. A picking of heart; poignant grief proceeding from a sense of guilt or consciousness of causing pain; the sting of conscience.
He acknowledged his disloyalty to the king, with expressions of great compunction. --Clarendon.
Syn: -- Compunction, Remorse, Contrition.
Usage: Remorse is anguish of soul under a sense of guilt or consciousness of having offended God or brought evil upon one's self or others. Compunction is the pain occasioned by a wounded and awakened conscience. Neither of them implies true contrition, which denotes self-condemnation, humiliation, and repentance. We speak of the gnawings of remorse; of compunction for a specific act of transgression; of deep contrition in view of our past lives. See Regret.
n : a feeling of deep regret (usually for some misdeed) [syn: remorse,